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aug-sept 2015 initiatives



initiatives aug-sept 2015

aug-sept 2015 initiatives


welcome new chamber members Joined in May 2015 AMF Pin Palace Lanes Bank Independent (Loan Production Office) Cintel Strategies, Inc. Clear Creek Applied Tech, Inc. Cutter Company, LLC Donatos Energy Huntsville Evora USA Factory Connection Faith Divine Cleaning Service LLC The Fields Group, LLC Florida Pharmacy Solutions, Inc. The Home Depot #803 Huntsville Country Club

Joined in June 2015 256 Publishing LLC AAL USA, Inc. Allstate Insurance - Brewer & Associates Cabela’s Candy’s Corporate Cleaning Carmike Huntsville 10 Deftec Corporation Dex Media

Huntsville Gold, Inc.

Giles and Kendall, Inc.

JLG Insurance

GoPro Event Solutions

Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment

Heartspur Group, LLC

McAlister’s Deli - Perimeter Mr. Gutter New Media Production Old Town Beer Exchange Rahmati Law Firm, LLC RAM Networks, Inc. Real Estate Row ReaL Strategies, LLC Redstone Title Services Restoration Credit Services Rockstar Personnel Ryan’s Steakhouse Staples #1280 - North Parkway Teach for America - Alabama

Horizon Point Consulting, Inc. Jell’s 4ever BBQ Jetplex Circle Business Park JMJ Parts, LLC Labor Finders LifeTriage New South Realtors Nu’ Lynie Rocket City Drywall & Supply, Inc. SACS Kitchen Signature Homes Staples #1147 - Memorial Parkway S Stone Crossing Apartments Tharon Rankins Enterprises, LLC Title Boxing Club Tree of Life Behavioral Health, LLC William Hooper Community Development Corporation Workforce Intermediary Group Yellow Hammer Freight Brokerage

If you want to make a valuable investment in your business and the community, the Chamber is the place to start. Contact Donna McCrary, Membership Retention Manager: 256-535-2027 or 4

initiatives aug-sept 2015


Huntsville Regional Economic Growth Initiative Development Partner

Development Council

Chairman’s Council



Huntsville Hospital Madison County Commission Regions Bank Tennessee Valley Authority

ADTRAN, Inc. The Boeing Company City of Madison Emerson Network Power - Avocent Redstone Federal Credit Union Remington Outdoor Company

EXECUTIVE COUNCIL BB&T Lockheed Martin Corp.

BBVA Compass •

Port of Huntsville



• •

Crestwood Medical Center SES - Science and Engineering Services, LLC

CHAMBER TRUSTEES AEgis Technologies Group • Aerojet Rocketdyne • Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Alabama • Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. DynCorp International • Dynetics, Inc. • First Commercial Bank • Intuitive Research and Technology Corp. Jerry Damson, Inc. • L-3 Communications Corp. – Huntsville Operations • Lanier Ford Shaver & Payne P.C. Northrop Grumman Corp. • PARSONS • Raytheon Company • S3 • Sealy Management Company, Inc. Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc. • Torch Technologies • Wyle CAS Group

PROGRESS PARTNERS Ability Plus • ASRC Federal Analytical Services • Baron Services, Inc. • BASF Corp. • Beason & Nalley, Inc. Bill Penney Toyota, Scion & Mitsubishi • BlueCreek Investment Partners • Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP • Coates Transportation Group Colliers International • Connected Logistics • Consolidated Construction Company • Davidson Technologies, Inc. Huntsville-Madison Co. Builders Association • iBERIABANK • IronMountain Solutions • J. Smith Lanier & Co. LEAN Frog Business Solutions, Inc. • Logicore • MJLM Engineering & Technical Services • MTS, Inc. • The Orthopaedic Center Progress Bank • Radiance Technologies • Rosie’s Restaurants & Right Way Restaurants (Steak Out) SELEX Galileo Inc. • Turner • Vencore, Inc. • Woody Anderson Ford

PROGRESS INVESTORS 4SITE, Inc. • AECOM • Alpha Beta Technologies, Inc. • Amanda Howard Real Estate • Anglin Reichmann Snellgrove & Armstrong, PC • Aviagen, Inc. Averbuch Realty Co., Inc. – Scott Averbuch • BancorpSouth • Brown Precision, Inc. • Bryant Bank • CB&S Bank • Century Automotive • CFD Research Corp. Coast Personnel Services • deciBel Research • Decisive Analytics Corp. • Deloitte LLP • DESE Research, Inc. • Digium, Inc. • Elliott Davis Decosimo Fite Building Company, Inc. • Foreign Language Services • Fountain, Parker, Harbarger • HEMSI • Hiley Cars Huntsville • Huntsville Botanical Garden Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau • Huntsville Tractor & Equipment, Inc. • Investor’s Resource/Raymond James • The Lioce Group, Inc. Littlejohn Engineering Associates, Inc. • National Bank of Commerce • North Alabama Multiple Listing Service • PeopleTec, Inc. • PHOENIX PROJECTXYZ, Inc. • Public Financial Management, Inc. • QTEC • Qualis Corp. • Renasant Bank • RJ Young • ServisFirst Bank • Sierra Lobo, Inc. Sigmatech, Inc. • Synapse Wireless, Inc. • Systems Products and Solutions, Inc. • West Huntsville Land Co., Inc. aug-sept 2015 initiatives


Meet Our Huntsville Lending Team

Will Alexander Business Development

DeMarco McClain Vice President

Barry Bryan Senior Vice President

256-533-7834 | | Member FDIC


initiatives aug-sept 2015

Tim Singleton Madison County Area President

aug-sept 2015



Jonn Kim: Eclectic Visionary

22 11 12 25 18 21

biosciencebriefs didyouknow? economicdevelopmenthighlights educationupdate membershipvolunteers movingforward 4 5 8 10 26 28

Welcome New Chamber Members HREGI Investors Message from the President | Board of Directors Community Profile Chamber Staff | Associated Organizations ChamberON

editorial staff publisher

Chip Cherry, CCE executive editor

Carrie Rice editorial designer

Kristi Sherrard contributing writers

Mackenzie Borden Abbi Ondocsin Elizabeth Saba Emma Williams The mission of the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County is to prepare, develop and promote our community for economic growth.

(additional contact information on page 26)

Submissions for editorial content are not accepted. Information in this and other Chamber publications is at the discretion of the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/ Madison County. Advertising inquiries go through (contact at right).

contributing photographers

Glenn Baeske Lauren Tomasella Carney advertising sales

Jason Shervey email:

aug-sept 2015 initiatives


Chamber of Commerce

Executive Committee and Board of Directors 2015 Executive Committee Rey Almodóvar, Chair, INTUITIVE Rose Allen, Chair-elect, Booz Allen Hamilton Robert Mayes, Imm. Past Chair, BlueCreek Investment Partners Ron Poteat, Chamber Foundation Chair, Regions Bank Cynthia Streams, Secretary/Treasurer, Domino’s Pizza (Valley Pizza) Joe Newberry, Vice Chair - Economic Development & Industry Relations, Redstone Federal Credit Union

Jim Rogers, Vice Chair - Gov. & Public Affairs, Lockheed Martin Gary Bolton, Vice Chair - Membership, ADTRAN Emily Lauder, Vice Chair - Workforce & Education,

A Message from

Chip Cherry

Dear Chamber of Commerce Investors, Community Leaders and Friends: We need your help! We will celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Small Business Awards in September and need your help in identifying cool stories about small businesses in our area that we can feature in our October issue of Initiatives and throughout the year. Our goal is to spotlight a number of small companies who are doing innovative things and/or have a unique story. Please send your send your story ideas to Carrie Rice at I’m excited about the recent developments which will allow the Chamber and our partners to be more effective in supporting the growth and development of small companies. The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has relocated from their former location in The College of Business Administration at UAH to newly renovated space on the third floor of the Chamber building. Our Small Business and Events division has moved into the third floor, and we are few weeks away from opening our new training facility for workshops and seminars. Having the SBDC located on the third floor, coupled with our enhanced training capabilities, will translate to more effective support being provided to our small businesses! In addition to these changes, we are excited to have Erin Koshut join our team as the Director of Cummings Research Park (CRP). Erin comes at an exciting time. CRP is a vital part of the economic landscape in the region, and over the next few months the stakeholders will engage in updating the CRP Master Plan. This process is vital to ensuring that it remains vibrant for the next 50 years. School is back in session, so I hope that you and your family had a wonderful summer. I look forward to seeing you at a Chamber event soon!

Chip Cherry, CCE President & CEO Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County


initiatives aug-sept 2015

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama

Tharon Honeycutt, Vice Chair - Small Business & Events, MSB Analytics

Kim Lewis, Vice Chair - Marketing & Communications, PROJECTXYZ Penny Billings, Vice Chair - Member Engagement, BancorpSouth Mayor Tommy Battle, Chair-Appointed, City of Huntsville Mark Curran, Chair-Appointed, L-3 Communications Corp. - HSV Ops Trip Ferguson, Chair-Appointed, Remington Outdoor Company Chairman Dale Strong, Chair-Appointed, Madison County Commission

Mayor Troy Trulock, Chair-Appointed, City of Madison Danny Windham, Chair-Appointed, Digium Chip Cherry, President & CEO, Chamber of Commerce

Elected Board Dr. Robert Altenkirch, University of Alabama in Huntsville Bob Baron, Baron Services Dr. Marc Bendickson, Dynetics Miranda Bouldin, LogiCore Greg Bragg, Consolidated Construction Company Greg Brown, Brown Precision Janet Brown, Belk Micah Bullard, Turner Construction Kevin Byrnes, Raytheon Company Kevin Campbell, Northrop Grumman Corporation Frank Caprio, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings Michael Cox, PARSONS Angel Crespo, Raytheon Redstone Missile Integration Facility Dorothy Davidson, Davidson Technologies Gene Goldman, Aerojet Rocketdyne Jeff Gronberg, deciBel Research Mike Gullion, SCI Technology – a Sanmina company John Gully, SAIC Jan Hess, Teledyne Brown Engineering Steve Hill, AEgis Technologies Group Dr. Pam Hudson, Crestwood Medical Center Dr. Andrew Hugine, Alabama A&M University Hank Isenberg, IronMountain Solutions Jeremiah Knight, JXC Consulting Group Janice Migliore, PALCO Telecom Service Johnny Van Osborne, J. Smith Lanier & Co. Jim Owens, FirstBank Alicia Ryan, LSINC Dr. Gurmej Sandhu, Sigmatech Charlie Sealy, Sealy Management Company Crystal Shell, WILL Technology E.J. Sinclair, SES - Science and Engineering Services Dr. Ashok Singhal, CFD Research Corporation David Spillers, Huntsville Hospital Mike Stanfield, Ducommun Miltec Nilmini Thompson, Systems Products and Solutions Tim Thornton, nLogic Ken Tucker, The Boeing Company Frank Williams, Landers McLarty Dodge Chrysler Jeep

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aug-sept 2015 initiatives


communityprofile Madison City of County Huntsville


City of Huntsville Madison Metro Area

Top Ten Employers Redstone Arsenal* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31,500* Huntsville Hospital System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7,129

2010 Census





NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6,000

2013 Census





Huntsville City Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,079

3.6% 3.5% 7.5% 4.3%

The Boeing Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,600

% Growth

Madison County Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,389

Households & Income # of Households





Avg. Household Income $78,462




Per Capita Income





Sources: U.S. Census Bureau (, 2013 American Community Survey

SAIC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,229 City of Huntsville . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,206 The University of Alabama in Huntsville . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,675 ADTRAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,522 Source: Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County *includes on-site contractors

Aerospace & Defense Huntsville/Madison County is home to the U.S. Army Redstone Arsenal and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center which combine to drive a thriving aerospace and defense technology industry. More than 37,500 people work at Redstone Arsenal and NASA managing some of the country’s most important and sophisticated technology programs including missiles, aviation and space exploration.

Research & Technology Huntsville’s Cummings Research Park has earned a reputation as a global leader in technology development. The second-largest science and

For more information, visit:

technology park in the U.S., Cummings Research Park is home to more


than 300 companies and 29,000 people involved in technology research and

Auburn University Office of Professional and Continuing Education Huntsville Initiative Whether your organization is a small business, the headquarters of an international �rm, or something in between, �uburn �niversity�s professional development programs provide �rst-class opportunities for growth and learning. Programs Areas Include: - Leadership Development Programs - Training for Human Resource Professionals (CP & SCP Test Prep Classes coming Fall 2015) - Management and Productivity Programs




To learn more, or join our e-mail list, visit AUBURN EDU OPCE HSV . Auburn University is an equal opportunity educational institution/employer.


initiatives aug-sept 2015



Energy Efficient Avion Solutions shares how businesses can save money


vion Solutions, Inc., a small business that provides engineering, logistics, and software solutions to key customers in the federal sector, is quickly developing one of the most sustainable facilities in Huntsville. It all began in January 2012 when Randy Buckner, Director of Research and Development for Avion Solutions, walked into the Avion facility to realize the air conditioning was running. “It was 19 degrees outside and I wanted to know why the building was compressing air,” says Buckner. This prompted him to examine the facility and work with local partners to increase the building’s efficiency. In the first year alone, Avion Solutions spent $12,000 on a building automation system to reduce its annual energy bill by 50 percent, from $80,000 to $40,000. Avion Solutions continues to take steps to generate revenue through energy efficiency. It has upgraded its parking lot lighting to LED lights and installed a 50 kilowatt solar system. The solar farm will generate 70 megawatt hours of energy per year, making it one of the largest solar systems in Huntsville. “We are part of the TVA Green Power Provider system,” says Buckner, L-R: Chamber Board Chair Rey Almodóvar, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Avion’s Randy Buckner, Evan Wagner and Chad Donald, and Madison Mayor Troy Trulock “and through the program we will receive payments celebrating Avion’s 50-Kilowatt Solar System. and tax credits for the renewable energy we generate.” abama Center for Sustainable Energy, launched the Huntsville Better Avion Solutions is also utilizing Federal and local grants, available Buildings Challenge (HBBC). This initiative is challenging local busithrough the Alabama Center for Sustainable Energy and Nexus Enness owners to contribute to Huntsville’s goals of reducing energy ergy Center, to help finance its energy efforts. Buckner adds, “We consumption by at least 20% by 2020, positioning Huntsville as one are purposefully taking our company into a new realm, focusing on of the nation’s most sustainable cities. Building owners join the HBBC commercial applications, and energy is where my personal focus is. by pledging to save energy and water in their selected building. In I treat our whole building as an energy lab.” return, the HBBC team will work with participants to provide incenBuckner recommends the following steps for companies wanting tives such as free building assessments, energy efficiency implemento examine if they can generate revenue through energy reduction: tation technical assistance, education and training courses, access assess where, why and how. The first step is to assess your current to project financing opportunities and public recognition. “HBBC building. You can do this through the Department of Energy’s Enwill be a means of freeing up business capital for more productive ergy Star Portfolio Manager Tool. After importing your building’s uses, stimulating growth for communities, fostering new business information, it gives you a score to show opportunities, and creating a more sustainable footprint. There are how energy efficient your building is. If you more than $50 million dollars of low hanging energy savings potenhave a below average score, the next step is tial in Huntsville alone,” says Daniel Tait, CEO of the Alabama Cento determine why. Huntsville Utilities and the ter for Sustainable Energy. “Companies like Avion Solutions serve as Tennessee Valley Authority can help your an example of how facilities can generate revenue through energy company with this through their top-notch efficiency. I am confident that we will be able to come together as a Comprehensive Services program, offering a community to become a national model for sustainability.” suit of analyses to identify areas where your energy is being used For more information, please visit and opportunities to reduce energy usage. It offers this service at no For more information on the Huntsville Better Buildings Challenge, charge to companies. Finally, you can identify opportunities to genplease visit For more information on the Energy erate revenue by working with local partners such as Avion SoluStar Portfolio Manager Tool, please visit tions, the Alabama Center for Sustainable Energy, Nexus Energy, Huntsville Utilities and the Tennessee Valley Authority. • Elizabeth Saba In January 2015, Avion Solutions, Energy Huntsville and the Alaug-sept 2015 initiatives


economicdevelopmenthighlights snap: Polaris’ first steel is up! On track for opening Spring 2016.

leader for this important community position: “The City has had the privilege of collaborating with Erin through the years on a variety of projects, and her extensive business and marketing experience will prove invaluable as our research park undergoes a master planning and visioning process,” Mayor Tommy Battle said. “This is truly a transformational time for CRP that requires the ability to plan and implement. Erin possesses the diplomacy, business smarts, and marketing savvy to guide CRP into the future. We are delighted she is joining our business team.” Charlie Grainger, Chairman of the Cummings Research Park Grainger Board of Directors agreed: “We are pleased that a person of Erin Koshut’s knowledge and capabilities is joining CRP as Director. She will be a great asset in continuing the Park’s tradition of attracting quality research-oriented companies as well as working closely with existing CRP CEOs and owners.”

Boeing Opens State-of-the-Art Research Center in Huntsville L-R: LaFreeda Jordan, J.R. Burke, Sen. Holtzclaw, Lucia Cape, Rep. Patterson, Tom Hill, Carrie Suggs, Chip Cherry, Jeff Miller

Erin Koshut Named Director of Cummings Research Park Erin Koshut will serve as the new Director of Cummings Research Park (CRP) in Huntsville. Koshut is exceptionally familiar with CRP and the Huntsville/Madison County area and will be a tremendous asset in her new position. Since 2013, Koshut served as Vice President for Client Services and Special Events with Crisp Communications in Huntsville. Prior to that, she spent 14 years with AkinsCrisp Public Strategies – working in Tennessee, Washington, D.C., and Huntsville – providing strategic communications, media relations, and government affairs support to federal, state and local government clients, as well as several major companies here in Huntsville and throughout Tennessee. Koshut also led the award-winning Tennessee Valley Corridor, a 5-state regional technology and economic development initiative, and that organization’s annual national technology Summits. Koshut will work within the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County’s economic development program, reporting to the Vice President of Economic Development. As the CRP Director, Koshut will specifically be responsible for marketing and providing management support related to Cummings Research Park properties and tenants, and working with other economic development representatives as well as community and government leaders. The Director functions within a multi-disciplinary environment. She will work closely with the Chamber economic development staff, the Mayor and staff of the City of Huntsville, the Cummings Research Park Board, prospective new and existing business representatives, other government officials, property owners, developers and realtors, and other key community representatives. Koshut Out of the chute, Koshut will work with the CRP Board of Directors, the CRP Advisory Council, the Chamber and the City of Huntsville on the master planning process as it continues to progress. “I am excited to join the Chamber and look forward to leading Cummings Research Park into the future,” said Koshut. “CRP is renown throughout the world as a top-tier high-tech research park that has experienced phenomenal growth because of our strong, reputable and successful companies and organizations. The master planning process presents a great opportunity to leverage CRP’s strengths and our stakeholder’s successes for greater growth and development.” Koshut has been active in the Huntsville/Madison County community, serving previously as a member of the Huntsville Committee of 100, the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County’s National Government Committee, publicity chair for the National Children’s Advocacy Center’s 2013 September Celebration, and the 2013 and 2014 Huntsville Hospital Foundation’s Liz Hurley Ribbon Run. Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle is confident that Koshut will be an outstanding


initiatives aug-sept 2015

Boeing has officially opened its new 80,000 square foot research and technology center in Huntsville. The facility will be devoted to the creation and development of analytics and simulation technologies and will serve as the company’s hub for collaborative technology development with academic institutions and research partners in analytics and simulation in the Southeast United States. “The next 100 years of innovation starts here,” said Steve Swaine, leader of the Boeing Research & Technology-Alabama (BR&T-Alabama) research center. “We’ve brought together a team made up of the best and brightest in data analytics, advanced engineering and many other disciplines to help Boeing create, develop, produce and support the best aerospace products in the world.” In addition to continuously modernizing and improving Boeing products and operations through analytics and simulation technology development, the 220 engineers, technicians and staff at BR&T-Alabama will develop a variety of other technologies for existing and future Boeing products and services. The team works on technologies that include simulation and analytics, systems analysis, applied mathematics, chemicals, composite materials, metals and ceramics, propulsion, avionics systems and sensors, communication and sensing, cybersecurity, materials and processes, and product standards. “A highly skilled and dedicated workforce is addressing some of the nation’s toughest problems and finding the solutions that will enable our men and women in uniform to maintain a technological advantage no matter where they are in the world,” said U.S. Congressman Mo Brooks. “Today’s announcement is a great example of how by working together, we can continue to position Huntsville as a global leader in research and technology,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “This facility will be key to solving the problems of tomorrow while bringing high-tech job opportunities to the region.” BR&T is the company’s advanced and central research and development organization, providing technologies that enable the development of future aerospace solutions while improving the cycle time, cost, quality and performance of existing Boeing products and services. “Boeing’s new research center represents a continued commitment to the Huntsville community,” said County Commission Chairman Dale Strong. “Boeing is bringing together a highly skilled workforce to drive innovation, collaborate and develop meaningful solutions that will benefit our county now and well into the future.”

compiled by Mackenzie Borden

UAH is key player in FAA Center of Excellence for Unmanned Systems The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is part of a team selected to conduct research as part of the new FAA Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Center of Excellence. Congress has charged the FAA with developing rules regulating commercial unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The Center of Excellence will provide the agency and industry with research to maximize the potential of commercial unmanned systems with minimal changes to the current system regulating manned aircraft. “The University of Alabama in Huntsville has been conducting UAS operations to collect data to support science and remote sensing in a variety of areas for years,” said David Arterburn, director of the Rotorcraft Systems Engineering and Simulation Center (RSESC) at UAH. “UAH’s work with cybersecurity, Earth systems science and aerospace position the faculty and research staff to work a wide range of UAS technology areas that will support the FAA as they continue to address the challenge of integrating all types of unmanned systems into the national airspace.” In 2013, UAH and the Army’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Management Office (PM UAS) signed a memorandum of understanding to explore opportunities for collaboration to Arterburn promote the development of the next generation of unmanned aircraft systems. According to the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the domestic UAS market is projected to create more than 100,000 jobs and $82 billion in economic impact in the first decade after FAA integration is complete. “Education and research into unmanned aerial systems is quickly emerging as a critical discipline for this university and the U.S. Army agencies at Redstone Arsenal,” said UAH President Robert Altenkirch. UAH regularly ranks among the Top 20 universities in research funded by NASA

and by the Dept. of Defense. They collaborate with more than 285 high-technology companies serving the U.S. aerospace and defense sectors, as well as scientists and entrepreneurs at the Hudson Alpha Institute for Biotechnology. “We are well positioned to expand our significant role in unmanned aerial systems research and development, as well as manufacturing, here in Alabama and around the country with our ASSURE partners,” said Dr. Ray Vaughn, UAH vice president for research and economic development.

INTUITIVE Ranked one of the Best Workplaces for Millennials After surveying nearly 90,000 millennials, Great Place to Work® and Fortune have recognized Intuitive Research and Technology Corporation (INTUITIVE) as one of the 100 Best Workplaces for millennials in the country. INTUITIVE was identified as having cultures with a good fit for the youngest generation of the U.S. workforce and was selected from thousands of entries across of the country. INTUITIVE, who was ranked #13, ranked higher than well-known companies like Google and Twitter. Rankings come from an anonymous survey of our millennial employees administered by the workplace culture experts at Great Place to Work®. Winning companies were selected based on the evaluations of millennial-aged employees who were surveyed using the Trust Index©, Great Place to Work’s employee assessment survey. The 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials is part of a series of rankings by Great Place to Work® and Fortune based entirely on employee surveys from published Great Place to Work® Reviews. INTUITIVE ’s President, Harold Brewer, commented, “I believe our open door policy has helped management understand the needs and desires of our millennial-aged workforce. We understand the importance of creating a work environment suited for all of our employees; the well-being of our employees reflects on our

continued on page 20

Support the missions of Redstone






Redstone Gateway is the premier location for defense contractors seeking immediate access to NASA and other customers on Redstone Arsenal. The new 468-acre, masterplanned business park is located just outside Gate 9 of Redstone, right off I-565 at Research Park Blvd. COPT’s expertise in building mission critical facilities that are operationally efficient will ensure your specialized needs are met in order to advance your mission at Redstone. Derrick Boegner SVP, Asset Management / Leasing Corporate Office Properties Trust 256.895.9820 |

Redstone Gateway is a joint venture development of COPT and Jim Wilson & Associates, LLC.

aug-sept 2015 initiatives


Cover image: Dr. Jonn Kim at the helm of GaN Corporation on South Parkway; photo by Lauren Tomasella Photography.

Jonn Kim: Eclectic Visionary by Carrie Rice

Dr. Jonn Kim, GaN Corporation – 2014 winner, Russell G. Brown Executive Leadership Award



lla ase







initiatives aug-sept 2015

Glenn Baeske


mall businesses are the life-blood of every community which is why, every fall, the Chamber honors those incredible small businesses that are making a tremendous impact in our community. On September 11, the Chamber will celebrate its 30th anniversary of our Small Business Awards with “A Black Tie Affair” at the Von Braun Center. One of the most coveted awards given out is the Russell G. Brown Executive Leadership Award. This award is given annually during the Small Business Awards Celebration to a very deserving executive who exemplifies outstanding leadership qualities with their employees, as well as a model community influencer. Jonn Kim, CEO and Founder of Geeks and Nerds (aka GaN) was the 2014 recipient of the Executive Leadership Award. We visited with Dr. Kim about what he believes makes a good leader, how he manages to inspire his team, hire and retain a talented workforce, and why it is important to be involved in the community – all while running and expanding a successful small business. Please join us on this intriguing and fun Q&A journey of a dynamic visionary who has a side-passion for gardening and interior design – Dr. Jonn Kim of GaN:

Dr. Jonn Kim accepting the 2014 Russell G. Brown Executive Leadership Award from LogiCore’s Miranda Bouldin (right) and the UAH Business Fellow Award from Dr. Caron St. John (left) at last year’s (70s-themed) Small Business Awards Celebration, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County.

GaN Finds Collective Intelligence Q: The ballots are in, and you clearly are a great leader. What is your definition of an outstanding “executive leader”? What gives you that special edge? [Chuckle] I don’t think I have a special edge, nor do I consider myself a great leader. I am comfortable with myself and my path in this world to do good things. I am comfortable with experiencing life as an adventurer and journeyman to find my mission. I think my excitement and passion are the key traits that make me who I am, but I am uncertain about that. A few years ago, I asked my employees how they’d describe me. One employee said with a smile, “you have a good hair and you are so random.” Outstanding executive leaders, I think, are people who can transfer their excitement and passion to others to work towards a common goal, with good hair and random quirkiness.

Q: What did winning this award mean to you, personally and professionally? I am so grateful for the recognition by this community. Huntsville and Madison County have produced so many outstanding businesses and business leaders. Being considered as one of the leaders is a great honor and I find it unfathomable to have received the Russell Brown Executive Leadership award. I am grateful for the recognition and am motived to improve myself in the community.

Q: What has been GaN’s greatest achievement? We have received many outstanding awards both locally and nationally. From outside, we may look like a company that possesses a special recipe that make our success come easy. Easy is so far from true. From within, we work with unparalleled dedication and conviction to ensure all parts of the company is running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Each day, we struggle, we examine, we

tweak, and we tinker. Each day, we strive to improve. I like to quote a phrase by Walt Disney when I describe GaN: We are always “in a state of becoming.” I am most proud that we have established this culture of Geeks and Nerds: continuous pursuit of “becoming”.

Q: How important to your workforce is it to blend their workspace with fun/cool collaborative spaces (garden, game room, 100-year old bar, workout room, etc.)? I believe that our workplace reflects the culture of the company. Our work environment is an eclectic collection of stuff…it is a reflection of diverse lives of our employees and an extension of us, which include music, farming, alternate energy, gaming, movies, etc. I like this diversity. We also have employees who dress in shorts and wear flip-flops to work. Some wear ties and suits as well. This diversity keeps us fun and interesting while remaining focused on the common goal of the organization. We work in an open enrollment, and we don’t have partitions or private offices. One of the reasons for this is to allow collaboration. The other reason? Our building is such a cool Huntsville landmark, and I feel that preserving its coolness to the maximum is in the best interest of the community. I also hope to accomplish the idea of collective intelligence through collaboration. Collective intelligence is an idea (or a philosophy) where intelligence of a group far exceeds the sum of individual intelligence. Scientifically, we are aware of such manifestation in biologic systems, like in ant colonies or even in our brains. I believe workplaces should reflect a balance which allows room for creativity and collaboration. Outstanding ideas do not occur in a constrained environment. By allowing employees to become comfortable in sharing, I am hopeful that our employees enjoy the experience at GaN to be more than work but a life experience. continued on page 16 aug-sept 2015 initiatives


Jonn Kim, from page 15



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Q: What are your growth plans in the next 5 years?

firms. NAI Chase Commercial has the

This year, we have begun to take a monumental step for the future of GaN and our employees and have begun the process of making GaN an employee-owned company. I have been thinking about this for some years, and this wasn’t an easy decision personally. In retrospect, I can’t believe that I struggled with this decision at all. I feel great about the decision as this path ensures that long-term focus of GaN will remain with our employees. From now on, I plan on increasing the financial equity of our employees while maintaining our corporate culture.

experience to find opportunities for your business that others simply wouldn’t recognize. We provide a full range of brokerage, asset, property and facilities management services to meet your

Q: How does GaN manage to attract and retain an excellent team of people?

needs for retail, office, mixed use, and industrial properties. Our professionals

Success of an organization depends on one key factor, its people. During our interview process, we are transparent in describing our path, our culture, and our goal. This transparency minimizes turnovers. I also see GaN as a microcosm of America. America is a land of opportunities and GaN is a smaller reflection of our country. I believe that highly motivated and hard working people would find GaN a place of unlimited opportunities for professional growth and personal enrichment.

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We look for people who are young at heart whatever their chronological age may be. We look for people who are eager to learn and grow. We have a great balance of experience and energy, both from young professionals and experienced veterans. Again, diversity plays a key role in GaN’s future. Even though I don’t foresee myself retiring, I know several of our key employees want to retire in the future. Our young professionals will have to carry on the torch of GaN culture and its future. I am very excited to have some of these young professionals with us already, but we need many more. We are actively looking for the future leaders of GaN.

Q: Why is it important for small businesses like GaN to become involved in the community? I believe small business is the engine of not only our economy and our community. Contributing to our community ensures that our friends and families have a wonderful place to work and to live. This year, we have founded the Geeks and Nerds Foundation

Behind the building is a thriving employee garden plus a vintage red caboose that may become yet another cool workspace for Kim.

Photos by Lauren Tomasella Photography

One of the meeting rooms in the Geeks and Nerds workspace is set up for collaboration and physical fitness – computer station all set with a treadmill attached.

whose mission is to “help those who are helping themselves.” We are excited to assist many deserving citizens who might have fallen into tough times. We are hopeful that our assistance will help many of our citizens get back to the productive part of our community.

Q: What key piece of advice would you give other small businesses? Define success, not in monetary measures, but in quality of life, for you, your employees, and your community. Once you realize that what matters is the quality of life, and not the monetary means, your business will make more sense and you will enjoy life more. The only failure in life is not going for it. Go, do great things, and enjoy the experience of the business. Embrace it as a life’s opportunity and do it with passion. END NOTE: Thanks so much to Dr. Kim for his candid insights into GaN, leadership, workforce development, and Walt Disney as he traverses to Infinity and Beyond. We hope you will join us as we celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Chamber’s Small Business Awards on Friday, Sept.11. For more information, or to grab your tickets before they disappear, please visit • Carrie Rice | 256-535-1100

Litigation | Businesses | Governments Individuals | Non-Profits

No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.

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Valued Assets Chamber Emissaries and Ambassadors continue to give


id you know that the Chamber has hundreds of amazing volunteers who go out every day, visiting member businesses, promoting economic growth, mentoring, attending ribbon cuttings and groundbreakings, and helping new members become engaged with the Chamber? These volunteers – our Emissaries and Ambassadors – give incredible amounts of time and energy to the Chamber and we deeply appreciate it! Emissaries provide a personal connection between the Chamber of Commerce, its membership, and the community-at-large. They are committed and dependable Chamber members appointed to assist in increasing membership value and retention rates. “The Emissary Program is a unique opportunity to stay in touch with Chamber programs and the business community, generally,” said Jim Philips of Leo Law, LLC and Chamber Emissary. “The ten lawPhilips yers in our firm all work in some area of business law, so it is important for us to stay in touch with personalities and trends in the business community.”

Systems Engineering & Integration Modeling and Simulation Software Development Information Assurance Algorithm Development Interoperability Test and Evaluation

Lighting the Pathway to Sustain Our Nation’s Freedom 100% Employee-OwnedEOE/MF/V/D


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When the Chamber selected its first set of Emissaries in 2000, there were only six individuals whose role was to provide a line of communication between the Chamber and its members. In this special role, Emissaries become an advocate for Chamber initiatives – they serve as a voice for the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County. The program is now a robust group of 39 Emissaries who are appointed by Chamber leadership. An Emissary takes on the responsibility of at least 24 member companies with which they develop a relationship and act as a liaison for the Chamber. Emissaries are encouraged to choose member companies that fall within their scope of work. This makes it is easy to fit them into their natural contact rotation and allows a business relationship to form. The Emissaries then contact the companies throughout the year to invite them to Chamber events, update their information, and find answers to questions or concerns they may have. “The Emissary program allows me to connect with local businesses and leaders on a deeper level than traditional ‘networking’ events. Few chambers offer the breadth of opportunities to drive local economic development, learn about new or emerging regulatory measures and other topics impacting local businesses, and network with members and potential members, as our Huntsville/ Madison County Chamber of Commerce. I enjoy learning about each of my member companies and connecting them with Chamber events, offerings and sponsorships in practical and meaningful ways,” said Tiffany Taylor, Manager, SG&I Maintenance Contracts and U.S. Maintenance Sales and Chamber Emissary. Also in 2000, the Chamber Ambassador program only had one member, but now in 2015, we Taylor are proud to have 69 outstanding Ambassadors! The original intent of the Ambassador program was for Chamber members to be involved in ribbon cuttings in the community, but today, they do so much more. Ambassadors donate their time to help build member commitment and raise community awareness of Chamber activities and benefits. They represent and promote the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County, as well as promote their own business to other companies. Ambassadors volunteer their time by attending Chamber ribbon cutting ceremonies which helps support our entire business community, and they also attend events such as “Breakfast & Biz” or “Business after Hours.” The Ambassador Program operates on a 12-12-12 format which means that Ambassadors are divided into 12 equal groups forming 12 equal teams over a 12-month time frame. The Vice President of Member Engagement chooses a lead Ambassador for each month. The designated leads direct their Ambassador teams, makes sure volunteers attend their assigned events, and secures speakers or facilitators for monthly luncheons and activities. By

Volunteers supporting the Chamber at the local kick-off of National Small Business Week last May.

becoming a Chamber Ambassador, members are joining one of the top networking venues in the Huntsville/Madison County Area. “If I had to highlight one aspect of the program that I appreciate the most, it would be the development in becoming a ‘connector’,” said Clay Roundtree, Assistant Vice President, Regions Bank. “There is an art to becoming a trusted advisor. The Ambassador program gives you the opportunity to practice your connecting skills and teaches you how to take networking to Roundtree the next level.” Ambassadors pay a fee of $150 for a full year or $100 for a half year to participate in the Ambassador program. Individuals grow professionally by building relationships with businesses in the community and connecting with their leadership. They attend monthly Chamber luncheons where they hear from top policy leaders, key trends influencers, and community leaders. The Ambassador Program seeks members who desire to become more active in the local business environment, raise awareness of their own business or organization, and give back to the community. “Once I became an Ambassador I was greeted by people who cared and wanted me to get connected. Everyone has been so willing to help me connect our company with people who need our services,” said Crystal Howard, Marketing Manager KTi Express Courier. “Being an Ambassador has taught me the importance of building relationships in business. Renewing my application to be an Ambassador was a given. I plan to give back to the program as it has provided me with life experiences that Howard will help me go to the next level in my career.” If you are interested in becoming and Emissary or Ambassador, please contact Vice President of Member Engagement Wendy Kirk at; or Membership Retention Manager Donna McCrary at To see a list of current Emissaries, visit To see a list of current Ambassadors, visit •

Mackenzie Borden aug-sept 2015 initiatives


Economic Development Highlights, continued from page 13

compiled by Mackenzie Borden Master of Business Administration degree in 2014 at Troy University. McClain is very involved in the Huntsville/Madison County community, serving as a Director on the boards of Causeway Huntsville and the Christian Women’s Job Corps. He also serves as Treasurer of the Executive Board of Directors of Christmas Charities Year Round, and is a 2012 Connect Graduate of Leadership Huntsville Madison County. McClain is married to Clarissa McClain, an anchor/ reporter at WHNT-TV in Huntsville.

long-term success and that of our clients. INTUITIVE is lucky to have such a talented group of young professionals who are excited and dedicated to their work.” Visit to view the full list of Best Workplaces for Millennials.

Bank Independent Welcomes DeMarco McClain as Vice President Bank Independent is proud to announce the addition of DeMarco McClain to its Huntsville Loan Production Office as Vice President-Sales Officer. McClain will join Bank Independent Area President Tim Singleton and Senior Vice President-Sales Officer Barry Bryan in the Bank’s newest office in historic downtown Huntsville. “Huntsville and Madison County have given our bank a great reception so far and we are growing rapidly,” Singleton said. “It was an honor to add one of Huntsville’s most successful young bankers to our team.” McClain A graduate of Auburn University in Montgomery with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing, McClain also completed his

Doughty Named Senior Vice President of Operations at Huntsville Hospital Tracy T. Doughty has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Operations at Huntsville Hospital. Doughty’s expanded responsibilities will focus on operations at the Main/Adult Hospital campus on Gallatin Street. Doughty has served as Vice President of Emergency & Trauma Services and the hospital’s Physician Network since 2010. His career at Huntsville Hospital began in 1998 as a surgical/trauma nurse. Since then he has served in a variety of clinical and administrative roles. Doughty has a Master’s degree in Health Administration and a Master’s degree in Quality and Outcomes Management in Health Systems from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of North Alabama in 1997. Doughty Doughty served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 2001-2007. He serves on the boards of the Community Free Clinic, HEALS Clinic, Calhoun Community College Foundation, and the Huntsville Housing Authority Advisory Board. He is a graduate of Leadership Huntsville/Madison County and Leadership Alabama. He is also a past board member of the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County, North Alabama African American Chamber of Commerce, and previously served as the Young Executive Chair of the Committee of 100.


initiatives aug-sept 2015


Something for Everyone Investing in the Chamber, Promoting the Community


ince 1894, the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County has been working diligently on behalf of this community. It is our mission to Prepare, Develop, and Promote our community for economic growth, and our community has seen some impressive and exciting changes over the years! Chamber membership is an investment in the entire community, and over the years, all Chamber members have a hand in helping make our region a tremendous success. They have done this through their membership dues and by promoting their company through annual Chamber sponsorships of our events and high-impact marketing assets. For the past 10 years, the Chamber’s annual sponsorship campaign, called Total Resource Campaign (TRC), has played a key role in increasing event attendance and sponsorship dollars. TRC was an integral part of our efforts by enhancing the level of engagement of our membership in our programming. Volunteers graciously gave of their time to connect with our members so they could become more actively engaged in the Chamber and our mission. However, as with all great programs that have run their course, we realized it was time for us to rethink and retool TRC.

After many months of focus groups, committee meetings and research, the Chamber is pleased to announce that ChamberON will be our new sponsorship campaign – replacing TRC. ChamberON was selected as our new name because it denotes active, forward movement, and progress. ChamberON will blend the best of TRC and our objective of engaging more members in our activities. We launched ChamberON in July and are pleased that it has generated much excitement among Chamber members. Our goal with ChamberON is to ensure that the new program serves our members most effectively by enhancing their member experience and increasing participation in Chamber activities. Last, but not least, we must extend a HUGE thank you to the dedicated TRC volunteers who gave their time and energy to help build a stronger and more effective Chamber. We also want to give a shout-out to our new ChamberON volunteers who have taken on this new initiative –you will be hearing from them soon! There is something of value in ChamberON for every type of business/ organization and there are opportunities at every level to receive even more value from your Chamber investment. Let the Chamber staff help you grow and promote your business! For more information about ChamberON, please visit, or contact Donna McCrary at 256-5352027. •

Carrie Rice

Thanks to these 2014 TRC Volunteers Lisa Abbott, Cadence Bank Nicole Arsenault, Nesin Physical Therapy Wendy Babcock, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, LLP Mary Lynn Bishop Gary Bolton, ADTRAN Katie Bosarge, Davidson Technologies, Inc. Frank Caprio, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, LLP Ron Casto, CIMSgts Rachel Chapman, Express Employment Linda Cinader, BBVA Compass Nansi Clark Aaron Disouryavong, Buenavista Mexican Cantina Shannon Drake, Still Serving Veterans Connie Earp, EPSCO Staffing Kevin Fernandez, New York Life Kathy Franks, Kathy Franks Marketing, Inc. Camille Gardner, AEgis Technologies Group, Inc. Chad Gardner, BBVA Compass Gregory Glass, The GO Consulting Co. Joe Green, Davidson Technologies, Inc. Lisa Gregory, Candlewood Suites/IHG Elizabeth Griffith, BID Designs, LLC Stephen Hall, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, LLP Ginger Harper, iBERIABANK Clint Kirkland, Progress Bank Joe Knoch, Air Essentials, Inc. Lee Lester Kim Lewis, PROJECTXYZ, Inc. Carrie McCrillis, Kelly Services (Nashville) Leslie McGill, First Commercial Bank Jennifer Middleton Micah Miller, Apple Lane Farms Jessica Moore, Signs by Tomorrow Kelli Norwood, iHeart Media Jeff Olson, Computer Troubleshooters Michelle Omenski, Keller Williams Realty Tom Ray, Chamber volunteer Chris Russell, Cadence Bank Tiffany Taylor, Intergraph Corporation Regina Underwood, Crye-Leike Realtors (Madison) David Whitaker, CALIBRE Tom White, U.S. Space & Rocket Center Marianne Windham, Windham Travel & Leisure • 2015 ChamberON volunteer

aug-sept 2015 initiatives


biosciencebriefs HudsonAlpha Economic Impact exceeds $1.3B since inception The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology has generated more than $1.3 billion in economic impact for the State of Alabama since 2006, according to a recent economic impact analysis conducted by the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). Additionally, HudsonAlpha and its resident associate companies have had a positive employment impact on the state, growing each year to reach 1,177 (direct and multiplier) jobs in 2014. “HudsonAlpha continues to play a prominent role as a global leader in genomic research and discovery. We know HudsonAlpha brings tremendous economic value to Alabama, but we are so pleased to have this study to show the extent of the impact for our state,” said Richard M. Myers, Ph.D., HudsonAlpha’s President and Science Director. “The best part is, we are just beginning to hit our stride.” HudsonAlpha is a nonprofit organization founded by innovators Jim Hudson and Lonnie McMillian to translate the promise of genomic research into real-world benefits for people and their communities. Its mission spans genomic research, economic development, and educational outreach. Located in Huntsville’s Cummings Research Park on a 152-acre biotech campus, HudsonAlpha facilities include the state-of-the-art 270,000 square foot building designed to foster collaboration between scientific research teams, educators, entrepreneurs and the community. Throughout Alabama, HudsonAlpha collaborates with research universities and institutes, economic development organizations as well as educators at various grade levels. “HudsonAlpha is a great asset to the State of Alabama, and today’s report is a testament to the role HudsonAlpha has made in our state both in job creation and research and discovery. In a brief period of time, HudsonAlpha has strengthened Alabama’s position in the life science field. The Institute is a key player in the state’s economic development strategic plan, Accelerate Alabama, because of its ability to create jobs for the people in Alabama. I look forward to continuing the

growth of the life sciences in Alabama,” said Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley. A major element of the HudsonAlpha mission is to support life science entrepreneurs and companies to improve their potential for success. Two measures of HudsonAlpha’s success are: growth in the number of life science companies and the average tenure of a company on the Institute’s campus. In 2007 HudsonAlpha began with five associate companies, and by the end of 2014 this number had grown to 28. The average length of time companies have been associated with HudsonAlpha has risen to 4.5 years in 2014. The average tenure of associate companies has increased each year even with the acquisition of several successful companies since 2006. “This study shows the unique model that Lonnie (McMillian) and I envisioned is not only working, but exceeding our expectations. We are achieving our goals for moving discoveries to the marketplace while creating a life science hub in North Alabama,” said Jim Hudson, co-founder of HudsonAlpha. “Economic Impact Analysis, 2006-2014, for the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology” was prepared by the Center for Management & Economic Research at UAH. This study reflects the impact of the entire biotech campus, combining economic data from the nonprofit HudsonAlpha as well as more than two-dozen, for-profit associate companies that call HudsonAlpha “home.” This study summarizes the impact of the economic output and jobs resulting

Here is where aisle four became aisle fourteen. There’s nothing more exciting than a small business growing a little less small. Synovus can help you find the right SBA Loan to do just that. Whether you’re looking to expand your business, purchase assets, or meet your working capital needs, we offer long term financing and lines of credit for domestic and international growth. And as an SBA Preferred Lender, we’ll make the process quick and easy. To find out more, visit your local First Commercial Bank branch or


256.551.3300 | Banking products are provided by Synovus Bank, Member FDIC. Divisions of Synovus Bank operate under multiple trade names across the Southeast. Loans products subject to credit approval.


initiatives aug-sept 2015

compiled by MacKenzie Borden from HudsonAlpha’s presence. Economic impact estimations attempt to summarize the impacts on the specified economy. The analysis indicates that 710 direct jobs (full-time and part-time) and 467 multiplier jobs, for a total of 1,177 jobs in 2014, were impacted by HudsonAlpha and the associate companies. The rate of job growth during the period of the study was 23 percent annually. The total payroll associated with these jobs was $66,286,000 in 2014 and $491,086,000 cumulative since 2006. In 2014, the average annual wage from direct jobs was $72,917. “We are proud of the findings from this study, and all of us working at HudsonAlpha are re-energized as we continue to build a destination for innovation in the life sciences,” said Carter Wells, HudsonAlpha Vice President for Economic Development.

CFDRC Completes Spinout of SynVivo and Welcomes New CEO HudsonAlpha associate company CFD Research Corporation (CFDRC) recently completed its spinout of SynVivo, LLC. Founded in 2014, SynVivo is a microchip platform that provides a physiologically realistic microfluidic environment that allows the real-time study of cellular behavior and drug delivery and it commercialized the SynVivo family of cell-based assays. “CFDRC’s mission is to develop cutting-edge technologies into commercially viable solutions,” said retired Lt. Gen. Joe Cosumano, President and CEO of CFDRC. “SynVivo represents the most recent fulfillment of our corporate strategy for commercialization of breakthrough technologies.” SynVivo has hired C. Richard Piazza as the President and CEO. Piazza is a leading industry veteran with extensive healthcare experience in biotech, pharma and MedTech. He has managed both start-ups as well as large multi-nationals and has earned a reputation for successful new product launches and introductions. “All of us at HudsonAlpha welcome Mr. Piazza to Huntsville and the biotech

campus,” said Carter Wells, Vice President for Economic Development at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. “CFDRC continues to be an outstanding part of the HudsonAlpha family, and we look forward to watching SynVivo grow and flourish.” SynVivo, whose name is derived from synthetic in vivo, is a disruptive technology with a goal to revolutionize drug discovery and personalized medicine by providing the most realistic and dynamic in vitro platform for cellular behavior and drug response. Already at a commercial stage, SynVivo has a diverse customer base of clients from research institutions, biotechs and pharma. It recreates the complex in vivo vasculature including scale, morphology, fluidics and cellular interactions in an in vitro environment enabling basic and applied life sciences research. “SynVivo’s technology is poised to transform disease modeling and drug discovery and usher in true personalized medicine and I am excited to be part of the team,” Piazza said. SynVivo is headquartered in Huntsville and is co-located with the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Cummings Research Park. For more information on SynVivo,

FINDING CANDIDATES NO ONE ELSE CAN FIND Why try to navigate the uncertainty of talent acquisition with an inexperienced team? Our experienced recruiters get to know your business—your needs, your goals, and your personality. Then we dig deep, leaning on our powerful recruiting resources, to find hard-to-find talent. Searching high and low, we’ll forge a partnership that helps your business thrive. Let’s thrive together. To learn more, contact Josh Stevenson at 256-713-2696 or visit

YOUR BUSINESS. OUR PASSION. Alabama l Florida l Georgia aug-sept 2015 initiatives



TWO GREAT HOTELS. TWO GREAT HOTELS. ONE IDEAL LOCATION. ONE IDEAL LOCATION. Perfectly located in the Uptown Entertainment District at the BJCC, The Westin Birmingham and Sheraton Birmingham Hotel offer a combined 1,051 guestrooms and 385,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space, including stylish and contemporary outdoor patios. Enjoy upscale amenities and services you won’t find anywhere else in the city, like plush signature beds, renowned Starwood service, hot spots like the iconic Todd English P.U.B. and all of the benefits that come from being a Starwood Preferred Guest® member. TO LEARN MORE VISIT WESTINBIRMINGHAM.COM OR SHERATONBIRMINGHAM.COM

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©2014 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Aloft, Element, Four Points, Le Méridien, Sheraton, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Westin and their logos are the trademarks of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., or its affiliates.


initiatives aug-sept 2015


College & Career Fair H

igh school students are often asked, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” For many students, this can be a difficult question to answer. The 2015 College and Career Fair will equip more than 6,000 juniors and seniors from Madison County and Huntsville City Schools to answer this difficult question. University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) will host the fair on September 3 and 4 in the University Gym. Students will connect with more than 150 institutions of higher education and network with companies from the 16 different Career Clusters. The fair will expose students to career opportunities in fields ranging from Finance to Manufacturing. By partnering with local businesses, the College and Career Fair will bring expanded perspective to students while giving businesses direct access to future employees. “The College and Career Fair gives employers the opportunity to reach the most students at one time with information on career PUB/DATE: CI 8.06.15 options in the community,” said Joe Newberry, President and CEO 5.45 of Redstone Federal CreditSIZE: Union8.25 and xEconomic Development Vice Chair for the Chamber. “This is really the front line of employee COST: $750.00 recruitment and provides TOPIC: a way toSupervisory retain these valuable citizens in Excellence the Tennessee Valley.” This career fair also gives insight to careers that are not as widely known, such as advanced manufacturing positions.

“High school students know that they can drive a Toyota vehicle, but they might not know that they can have a great career making Toyota engines right here in Huntsville,” said Emily Lauder, General Manager of Administration for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama. “Our best source for future workers are the high schools around our manufacturing facility, and the College and Career Fair gives Toyota a chance to promote our careers to hundreds of potential employees over a two-day period.” Lauder also is the Workforce Vice Chair for the Chamber and a member of the board of directors of The Schools Foundation. “Participating juniors and seniors have a powerful opportunity to visit with institutions of higher education and engage with career representatives from local companies at the same time,” shared Elizabeth Flemming, Executive Director of The Schools Foundation. “The power the students gain lies in the understanding of the expectation of both college and career. This knowledge is in real time, in real situations, delivered by real representatives of real institutions of higher education and real companies; it is not theoretical.” If your business would like to participate in the College and Career Fair, please contact Emma Williams, Industrial Relations Specialist at the Chamber, at 256-535-2022 or • Abbi Ondocsin & Emma Williams

Supervisory Excellence For Managers Managers who lead successfully increase their organization’s productivity and improve the bottom line. For one evening a week, managers and supervisors from across industries will meet and learn valuable techniques and practical applications on how to effectively lead a team and promote high-performance results.

September 22 – November 24 | Tuesdays | 5:30 – 8:30 pm

WHAT WILL ATTENDEES LEARN? √ Effectively troubleshoot individual and team conflict √ Conduct performance appraisals and ongoing reviews √ Facilitate strong communication among team members √ Navigate teams through a complex business landscape

26% 58%

Of Managers expressed that they weren’t ready when they began managing others. Of Managers said that they didn’t receive any management training. * Survey conducted in 2011 by

√ Identify and develop high performing members of the team √ Run effective meetings and provide counsel in difficult situations √ Utilize leadership skills to develop high-performance work teams

Ask about customized training and group discounts!

PROFESSIONAL AND CONTINUING STUDIES • 256.824.6015 • aug-sept 2015 initiatives


Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County





Chip Cherry, CCE, president & CEO Amy Locke, executive assistant Amy Tubb, resource desk coordinator Annette Atchley, resource desk assistant

Economic Development & Industry Relations Lucia Cape, vice president Erin Koshut, Cummings Research Park director Ken Smith, research & information services director Will West, economic development specialist | project manager Emma Williams, industry relations specialist Karessa Acosta, economic development assistant

Workforce & Education Lucia Cape, vice president

Marketing & Communications


Carrie Rice, director Kristi Sherrard, graphic designer Hiroko Sedensky, web designer

Government & Public Affiars Mike Ward, senior vice president Tina Leopold, assistant

Finance & Administration


Christy Nalley, director Jamie Gallien, IT manager Mary McNairy, accounting specialist | human resources Lori Warner, accounting specialist Joe Watson, facilities supervisor

Membership Wendy Kirk, vice president, member engagement Donna McCrary, membership retention manager Tiffany Jordan, membership representative Tina Blankenship, membership representative

Small Business & Events Pammie Jimmar, director Alexandra Gonzalez, event coordinator Beverly Pike, small business coordinator

Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County 225 Church Street NW, Huntsville, AL 35801 phone 256-535-2000 | fax 256-535-2015 Associated Organizations


initiatives aug-sept 2015

aug-sept 2015 initiatives


PRSRT STD US Postage PAID Birmingham, AL Permit #40

The Chamber has launched a new annual sponsorship campaign called ChamberON. Make a valuable investment in your business and community today. Visit or contact Donna McCrary at 256-535-2027 or Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County


initiatives aug-sept 2015

Initiatives magazine, August 2015  

Jonn Kim: Eclectic Visionary

Initiatives magazine, August 2015  

Jonn Kim: Eclectic Visionary